“We started doing gigs, but we were never part of the New York scene,” KISS member Paul Stanley says in our EXCLUSIVE preview of Biography: KISStory special. “We were outcasts to the outcasts.” KISS didn’t start out playing in the more notable venues in New York City, they were playing in tiny bars in Queens and Amityville.
“I never wanted to be the best band in New York. I wanted to be the best band in the world,” Paul added. KISS was formed in 1973 with Paul, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss. Paul and Gene are the two members of KISS who have been with the band since the very beginning.
In those early days, the members of KISS were coming up with the band’s identity on their own. “Everything we did, we did ourselves,” Gene said. “We have to create ourselves, design our own logos. Literally… make our own clothes. We took a black t-shirt, put glue in the KISS logo, and poured glitter on it. Do whatever it is you gotta do to set yourself apart. Just figure out yourself what makes you special. We created KISS out of nowhere, out of our imagination.”
While KISS became one of the most popular rock bands of all time, they weren’t playing in major tours and venues right away, nor did they have millions of fans just yet. “Those first shows, I think there were probably 5 people, and they were at the bar,” Paul admitted.
Biography: KISStory is celebrating one of the most iconic bands of all time. The definitive documentary film tells the stories behind the phenomenon of KISS. Directed by D.J. Viola, Biography: KISStory chronicles the band’s five decades in the business as founders Paul and Gene reflect on their historic career with KISS. The four-hour, two-night event airs Sunday, June 27 and June 28 at 9 p.m. ET on A&E.